Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Time to Head South...


I have mixed feelings about fall; I love the changing colors of the foliage...


Once again the trees are filled with unusual small birds looking for spiders and tasty bugs. The photo-opps are as close as the back yard; just hang a camouflage net in the back door, lie down on the living room floor and wait for the visiting common redstart to patrol the lawn.





Or head to the southwest tip of Sweden together with hundreds of amateur ornithologists and watch the fall migration from Kolabacken at the Falsterbo Golf Club. As countless thousands of songbirds head south, thousands of birds of prey like peregrine falcons, hobbies, and sparrow hawks follow their food supply on a perilous journey over southern European. A greater risk than the peregrine falcon are the hunting grounds where millions of songbirds will end their lives in glues traps before being sold to restaurants and served as tapas. And next spring the number of birds returning will once again drop...

In a few more weeks the trees will be bare and most of the birds will have disappeared, and in 70-some-odd days the day in southern Sweden will be only 7 hours long.But the sunrise and sunset can last an hour...


In the meantime the bull red elk tries to gather a harem and mate with as many females as possible.


Some people complain about this dark time of year, but it's a good time for reviewing and editing the year's photographs and of course spending time with family and friends. I even know a rather clever photographer, Felix Heintzenberg who just published a book all about nature photography in the dark: Nordiska N├Ątter - Djurliv mellan skymning och gryning (Nordic Nights - Animal Life Between Dusk and Dawn). That bit of imagination and some great photography got him the WWF Panda Book award for 2014. Congratulations Felix!